Thread: Democracy may be on its way out
01-03-2006, 03:20 PM #1
Democracy may be on its way out
This is taken from http://www.edge.org/q2006/q06_2.html the site asked 117 experts in different fields this question
"The Edge Annual Question — 2006
WHAT IS YOUR DANGEROUS IDEA?
The history of science is replete with discoveries that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally dangerous in their time; the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious. What is your dangerous idea? An idea you think about (not necessarily one you originated) that is dangerous not because it is assumed to be false, but because it might be true?"
This answere was pretty interesting
Physicist, former President, Weizmann Institute of Science
Democracy may be on its way out
Democracy may be on its way out. Future historians may determine that Democracy will have been a one-century episode. It will disappear. This is a sad, truly dangerous, but very realistic idea (or, rather, prediction).
Falling boundaries between countries, cross border commerce, merging economies, instant global flow of information and numerous other features of our modern society, all lead to multinational structures. If you extrapolate this irreversible trend, you get the entire planet becoming one political unit. But in this unit, anti-democracy forces are now a clear majority. This majority increases by the day, due to demographic patterns. All democratic nations have slow, vanishing or negative population growth, while all anti-democratic and uneducated societies multiply fast. Within democratic countries, most well-educated families remain small while the least educated families are growing fast. This means that, both at the individual level and at the national level, the more people you represent, the less economic power you have. In a knowledge based economy, in which the number of working hands is less important, this situation is much more non-democratic than in the industrial age. As long as upward mobility of individuals and nations could neutralize this phenomenon, democracy was tenable. But when we apply this analysis to the entire planet, as it evolves now, we see that democracy may be doomed.
To these we must add the regrettable fact that authoritarian multinational corporations, by and large, are better managed than democratic nation states. Religious preaching, TV sound bites, cross boundary TV incitement and the freedom of spreading rumors and lies through the internet encourage brainwashing and lack of rational thinking. Proportionately, more young women are growing into societies which discriminate against them than into more egalitarian societies, increasing the worldwide percentage of women treated as second class citizens. Educational systems in most advanced countries are in a deep crisis while modern education in many developing countries is almost non-existent. A small well-educated technological elite is becoming the main owner of intellectual property, which is, by far, the most valuable economic asset, while the rest of the world drifts towards fanaticism of one kind or another. Add all of the above and the unavoidable conclusion is that Democracy, our least bad system of government, is on its way out.
Can we invent a better new system? Perhaps. But this cannot happen if we are not allowed to utter the sentence: "There may be a political system which is better than Democracy". Today's political correctness does not allow one to say such things. The result of this prohibition will be an inevitable return to some kind of totalitarian rule, different from that of the emperors, the colonialists or the landlords of the past, but not more just. On the other hand, open and honest thinking about this issue may lead either to a gigantic worldwide revolution in educating the poor masses, thus saving democracy, or to a careful search for a just (repeat, just) and better system.
I cannot resist a cheap parting shot: When, in the past two years, Edge asked for brilliant ideas you believe in but cannot prove, or for proposing new exciting laws, most answers related to science and technology. When the question is now about dangerous ideas, almost all answers touch on issues of politics and society and not on the "hard sciences". Perhaps science is not so dangerous, after all.
01-03-2006, 03:34 PM #2
I think the internet is the main factor. It is evolving into a global conciousness which, if left as is, has potential to unite man kind through common understanding.
01-03-2006, 07:07 PM #3
There isnt really a true democracy anywhere, all mock ar sham democracies. Its all manipulated, corrupt and rigged elections. Let the illuminati rule the world and, naturally, there interests
01-03-2006, 08:23 PM #4
Its already on its way out in Latin America.
01-04-2006, 06:45 AM #5Originally Posted by BeerBaron
01-04-2006, 08:02 AM #6
We are far from one international community. There may be parts of nations that communicate/interact, but this article gives too much credit to people of different nations joining together and creating a centralized gov't. This article assumes that we (industrialized countries) will be taking the road toward becoming more like 3rd world countries. Joining the ranks of these countries and adopting their cultural values......highly doubtful. What would we have to gain as a country by doing this?
"All democratic nations have slow, vanishing or negative population growth, while all anti-democratic and uneducated societies multiply fast. Within democratic countries, most well-educated families remain small while the least educated families are growing fast." Let us remember Ethiopia, their population exploded beyond the countries ability to sustain these individuals, but nature balanced this out.
If we (industrialized countries) continue to evolve, particularly past combustion engines, our oil needs will lessen. When this occurs, what choice will the nations of sand and oil have but to evolve new economic strategies or be consumed.
Last edited by Logan13; 01-04-2006 at 08:05 AM. Reason: sp
01-04-2006, 02:10 PM #7
One crucial flaw with Democracy is that it takes time to become "the system". Another way to look at it would be to say, one crucial flaw with humans is that we lack patience. When people see that a new democracy is not working they are quick to abandon it and even quicker to say, "democracy doesn't work"; as if communism and dictatorships are wonderful alternatives.
Democracy is more than just a system of "one man one vote". Democracy is a plethora of institutions (freedom of speech, freedom of movement, governmental transparency, etc). These institutions take a lot of time to become an integral part of one's society.
If people could be more patient, they would see that, in time, democracy does work...better than any other political system to date.
01-04-2006, 03:02 PM #8
I share the same view as Sir Winston Churchill on democracy.
01-04-2006, 03:14 PM #9
cute answerOriginally Posted by Prada
01-04-2006, 03:50 PM #10Originally Posted by Logan13
But in poor countries who are usually not democratic, you need kids to help you with work, and when you can work anymore, they help you survive.
01-04-2006, 03:53 PM #11Originally Posted by BeerBaron
Its the same battles that are taking place in real life.
01-04-2006, 03:59 PM #12
you got a point there caus. But maby people will waste time with board arguing instead of shooting eachother
01-04-2006, 04:09 PM #13
hmmOriginally Posted by CAUSASIAN
01-05-2006, 02:31 AM #14Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
one thing though is that when a poor country manages to become a democracy they cheerish it much more then those countries that has been democracies for ages. So I dont think poverty prevents democracy(except the lack of education), but democracy leads to much higher standard of living.
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